Ireland Must Resist New Pressures To Give Up Military Neutrality

Recovery of All-Ireland Sovereignty of Irish People More Vital than  Ever Now!


Is Irish Navy Co-Operating with Return of Migrants to Hell On Earth in Libya?

The UN accused the EU last week of turning a “blind eye” to the brutality faced by migrants held in Libya and called for urgent action to help them.-RTE News


INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN AFFAIRS (IIEA)-Funded By Huge Irish and International Business Interests and by the EU Commission Calls For End To Irish Military Neutrality Through President Brendan Halligan


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Post-Brexit support from Berlin and Paris will come at a cost-Halligan in Irish Times

As the Franco-German axis reasserts its self, Irish neutrality and corporation tax policies will have to be revisited 

Opinion: Brendan Halligan, is President of the Institute of International and European Affairs. He was general secretary of the Labour Party and a member of the Oireachtas and European Parliament. This article is based on an address to the MacGill summer school.

Irish Times: Thursday, July 27, 2017, 17:28

Put simply, the European Union is a Franco-German project initiated by the Schuman Declaration of 1951. Together they are building a European home and while others may join in, they have to observe the house rules.

In these circumstances, the best strategy for Ireland is to be at the centre by adopting their agenda and adapting it to our own needs. And in view of Brexit, Ireland will need to be at the centre to get maximum advantage from our membership. It not an easy proposition .

Ireland volunteered to join the EEC in 1961 and gave certain commitments that now need to be revived. The then Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, fearing that Ireland would otherwise be isolated, virtually broke down the doors in Brussels to get into the community. Our application was opposed on many grounds, of which non-membership of Nato was the biggest. Lemass took this head-on and asserted that Ireland agreed with the objectives of Nato, was not neutral in the conflict between democracy and communism and implied that, if admitted as a member, would be prepared to join in the common defence of the EEC.

But defence remains a legacy issue because that commitment got lost after Lemass’s retirement, and is now forgotten. Discussion is off-limits and neutrality has become more a matter of theology than international politics. We have failed to update what it means in practice, as the Finns and Swedes have done.

But we won’t be able to do that for much longer because the Franco-German alliance has undergone a renaissance with the arrival of President Macron and with the imminent re-election of Mrs Merkel. European defence is back on the agenda, not least because of the US retreat from global affairs and the re-emergence of a truculent Russia.

The Franco-German conclusion is that we Europeans had better look after our own defence. As a result, this is one of those moments when Europe redefines itself and enlarges its core activities. We are unprepared for this development and failure to join in common defence, as Lemass had promised, may be our undoing.

The other legacy issue is corporate tax harmonisation. What originally started as a sensible policy for stimulating exports was then transformed into a sophisticated strategy for encouraging foreign direct investment. But it was never intended to become a mechanism for reducing the tax liabilities of international business and Ireland did not set out to become a tax haven, but that’s how we are now perceived.

The challenge here is that the taxation agenda is also quickening. Mrs Merkel has put the financial transaction tax into her government programme and President Macron has raised French concerns over what the OECD calls profit shifting. Then there are Commission proposals on a common consolidated tax base. Unless our stance on taxation is adapted to this complex agenda, then it too will be an obstacle to being part of the core.

That brings us to the strategic necessity for aligning our security and taxation policies with the new Franco-German agenda. It’s purely economic. The disruption from Brexit will be far greater here than in any other EU state. It constitutes an asymmetric shock that will necessitate a long period of adjustment similar to that which we experienced in the first decade of EEC membership.

We will inevitably be looking for assistance in building a new economic model while absorbing the shock of Brexit. To succeed at both we will need something analogous to the cohesion funds that eased our way into monetary union as well as special measures to offset the loss of competitiveness in the UK market, a consequence of the inexorable decline in the value of sterling.

This will be a tough case to make given the competing needs of the less well off member states. But it will have to be made and will be best done by invoking the principle of solidarity. Common sense dictates, however, that to win solidarity we must show solidarity and that means playing a full part at the centre of the Union. It’s a question of realpolitik, not sentiment.

In sum, playing a full part at the centre of the Union means playing a full part in the future common defence and security policies, playing a full part in creating a fiscal union involving corporate tax harmonisation, playing a full part in the Franco-German re-launch of Europe and finally cutting the umbilical cord with Britain and accepting the full consequences of the hard Brexit being brewed up by the Tories.

These are not easy choices. They go against the grain of custom and practice. But they will have to be made.

© 2017 irishtimes.com


Government and Fianna Fáil have Ordered The Irish Navy To Participate in This Anti-Human Operation!!

Luxembourg Foreign Minister, UNICEF, Medcin Sans Frontiere, Warn Against Return of Migrants To Libyan Concentration Camps

RTE Report and Interview with Luxembourg Foreign Minister

RTE RADIO News At One  17/07/2017


Text of RTE Report

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn has warned that  EU funds could be leading to migrants being housed in what he called concentration camps in Libya. Mr Asselborn said it was right to spend EU  money  training Libyan coastguards to save migrants, who are trying to reach Europe, from drowning. However, he said, this must not lead to those rescued being taken back to lawless camps in Libya.

Clip of interview with Mr Asselborn, Translated into English: “These camps are in part concentration camps-camps where people are raped, where there is no Law. We can only manage this crisis if we work much closer together and dig much deeper into our pockets to help the UN. Otherwise it means something totally inhumane is happening in Europe’s name”


 Irish Times,Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 11:16

Women and children raped and starved in Libyan ‘hellholes’ – Unicef

Irish Times,Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 11:16

Women and children making the dangerous journey to Europe to flee poverty and conflicts in Africa are being beaten, raped and starved in “living hellholes” in Libya, the United Nations children’s agency (Unicef) said on Tuesday


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Website

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has run mobile clinics in seven detention centres located in Tripoli and the surrounding area since July 2016. The centres are under the administration of the Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM).

MSF provides medical care to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who are arbitrarily detained there. The conditions MSF treats include skin disease, diarrhoeal disease, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and acute malnutrition. They are the direct result of the appalling conditions in the detention centres. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, more than 4,000 medical consultations were carried out.

On 3 February 2017, European Union leaders met in Malta to discuss migration, with a view to closing the route from Libya to Italy by stepping up cooperation with the Libyan authorities. MSF expressed its concerns about the fate of people trapped in Libya or returned to the country.



Seamus Healy TD Condemns New Alliance with British and French Navies To Push Refugees Back to “Hell on Earth” in Libyan Detention Camps

“The flight of desperate refugees across the Mediterranean from Libya and the rest of north Africa is reminiscent of the Famine. During its ten years from 1845 to 1855, 2.1 million desperate Irish people fled across the high seas in the hope of finding a better life abroad. Imagine if those 2.1 million people had been stopped and forced to return to Ireland. That is what Operation Sophia is now doing in the Mediterranean.”

Independent Alliance, Including John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Sean Canney and Shane Ross Vote With FF-FG

Full Dáil Vote-further down

Full Dáil Speech of Seamus Healy TD

Deputy Seamus Healy: “The Naval Service is participating in Operation Pontus as part of a bilateral agreement with the Italian Government. Operation Pontus is a purely humanitarian mission rescuing migrants at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean. To date, the Naval Service has saved approximately 16,800 migrants.

The Government’s proposal to participate in Operation Sophia, which is supported by only eight of the 27 European Union member states, is an attempt to abuse the legitimate concerns of the public about the continuing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and drag this country into a military role. I agree with the Peace and Neutrality Alliance that involvement in Operation Sophia would be a further breach of neutrality.

The country’s neutrality has already been breached by allowing the US military’s use of Shannon Airport.

We are repeatedly told that the integration of the Naval Service’s operation in the Mediterranean into Operation Sophia will be an extension of the former’s excellent humanitarian mission and reputation. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the priority of the current Operation Pontus is rescue, the priority of Operation Sophia is to force refugees back into the claws of the Tripoli Government. Under Operation Sophia, refugee boats are being confined to Libyan coastal waters by military force where they can be recaptured and returned to Tripoli.

The flight of desperate refugees across the Mediterranean from Libya and the rest of north Africa is reminiscent of the Famine. During its ten years from 1845 to 1855, 2.1 million desperate Irish people fled across the high seas in the hope of finding a better life abroad. Imagine if those 2.1 million people had been stopped and forced to return to Ireland. That is what Operation Sophia is now doing in the Mediterranean.

Libya has been in chaos since military aggression, including bombing by Britain and France, overthrew the Gaddafi regime. There are now three unelected Libyan governments involved in a civil war. This British and French-created chaos has given free rein to traffickers and smugglers preying on people attempting to escape. Integration into Operation Sophia involves allying Ireland with the navies of Britain and France and one of the three warring governments in Libya.

Refugees International speaks of the ongoing violence and chaos in Libya, a country that lacks an asylum system and where the rule of law is absent. Libyan refugees are being confined to hell-on-Earth detention centres. Non-Libyan refugees, of which there are many, are being placed in transit camps prior to repatriation to the countries from which they fled. There is no right of asylum in Tripoli.

If the transfer to Operation Sophia goes ahead, it will be used in future as a precedent to justify the further erosion of Irish neutrality. The excellent reputation of our soldiers and sailors abroad will be sullied by association with human rights abusers. Above all, the Irish people will be made complicit in the vicious oppression of deprived peoples. Tá mé go láidir i gcoinne an rún seo.


Question put: “That the motion be agreed to.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 80; Níl, 38; Staon(abstain), 0. (Ceann Comhairle 1, DID NOT Vote 39,-PH)

Níl    Staon
    Aylward, Bobby.     Boyd Barrett, Richard.
    Bailey, Maria.     Brady, John.
    Barrett, Seán.     Broughan, Thomas P.
    Brassil, John.     Buckley, Pat.
    Breathnach, Declan.     Collins, Joan.
    Breen, Pat.     Collins, Michael.
    Brophy, Colm.     Connolly, Catherine.
    Browne, James.     Crowe, Seán.
    Bruton, Richard.     Daly, Clare.
    Burke, Peter.     Doherty, Pearse.
    Butler, Mary.     Ellis, Dessie.
    Byrne, Catherine.     Funchion, Kathleen.
    Byrne, Thomas.     Healy, Seamus.
    Cahill, Jackie.     Howlin, Brendan.
    Calleary, Dara.     Kenny, Gino.
    Canney, Seán.     McGrath, Mattie.
    Carey, Joe.     Martin, Catherine.
    Casey, Pat.     Mitchell, Denise.
    Cassells, Shane.     Munster, Imelda.
    Chambers, Jack.     Murphy, Catherine.
    Chambers, Lisa.     Murphy, Paul.
    Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.     Nolan, Carol.
    Cowen, Barry.     Ó Broin, Eoin.
    D’Arcy, Michael.     Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
    Daly, Jim.     Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
    Deasy, John.     Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
    Deering, Pat.     O’Reilly, Louise.
    Doherty, Regina.     O’Sullivan, Jan.
    Donnelly, Stephen S.     O’Sullivan, Maureen.
    Dooley, Timmy.     Penrose, Willie.
    Doyle, Andrew.     Quinlivan, Maurice.
    Durkan, Bernard J.     Ryan, Brendan.
    English, Damien.     Ryan, Eamon.
    Farrell, Alan.     Sherlock, Sean.
    Fitzgerald, Frances.     Shortall, Róisín.
    Fitzpatrick, Peter.     Smith, Bríd.
    Flanagan, Charles.     Stanley, Brian.
    Halligan, John.     Tóibín, Peadar.
    Harris, Simon.
    Harty, Michael.
    Haughey, Seán.
    Heydon, Martin.
    Kehoe, Paul.
    Lahart, John.
    McConalogue, Charlie.
    McEntee, Helen.
    McGrath, Finian.
    McGrath, Michael.
    McGuinness, John.
    McHugh, Joe.
    McLoughlin, Tony.
    Madigan, Josepha.
    Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
    Moynihan, Aindrias.
    Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret.
    Murphy, Dara.
    Murphy, Eoghan.
    Murphy, Eugene.
    Naughten, Denis.
    Naughton, Hildegarde.
    Neville, Tom.
    Ó Cuív, Éamon.
    O’Brien, Darragh.
    O’Connell, Kate.
    O’Dea, Willie.
    O’Donovan, Patrick.
    O’Dowd, Fergus.
    O’Keeffe, Kevin.
    O’Loughlin, Fiona.
    O’Rourke, Frank.
    Rabbitte, Anne.
    Ring, Michael.
    Rock, Noel.
    Ross, Shane.
    Scanlon, Eamon.
    Smith, Brendan.
    Smyth, Niamh.
    Stanton, David.
    Troy, Robert.
    Zappone, Katherine.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Louise O’Reilly.

Question declared carried.


Government Proposes That Irish Navy Join British Navy In Handing Over Refugees to Be Jailed by Puppet Libyan Government-One of 3 Libyan Governments Fighting Civil War

Recent Manchester Bombing Related To UK Military Intervention in Libya

Government Proposal Endangers Irish People


Government Proposal To Transfer Irish Navy Operations in Mediteranean from “Pontus” to “Sophia”

Differing  practice on Handing over of Refugees is being omitted from all media coverage

Operation Pontus—Ireland, Italy only-refugees handed over to Italian Navy

Operation Sophia—25 EU states including UK , France by Agreement With Tripoli Government-Refugees returned to Tripoli Government and likely Jail  (“Hell on Earth”-Refugees International)

There are at least 3 governments in Libya and a raging civil war—Tripoli Government recognised by EU

UK and France bombed Libya to overthrow Gadafi-Now Chaos Reigns in Libya





Libyan Refugees being Returned From International Waters to Jail in Libya -“Hell on Earth”

Civil War in Progress-At least 3 states in existence –Tripoli Government Recognised by EU, UN?

EU helping force refugees back to ‘hell on Earth’ in push to stop boat crossings from Libya, report finds

Researchers say EU is disregarding international law and human rights



Research by the US-based Refugees International (RI) group warned that the EU’s push to prevent boats leaving the Libyan coast – now the main departure point towards Europe – could fuel horrific abuses.


“The fate of people who are seeking international protection is effectively absent from the plans outlined by EU leaders to tackle the Central Mediterranean route,” its report concluded.

“With the ongoing violence and chaos in Libya, a country that lacks an asylum system and where the rule of law is absent, EU countries must accept people on their territory through orderly, legal processes that are viable alternatives to ruthless criminal networks.

“The EU and its member states should also ensure that their funding and actions in Libya do not result in or contribute to human rights abuses against refugees and migrants.”



The Government should not be allowed to abuse the legitimate concerns of the Irish public about the continuing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean to drag the country into the EU’s increasingly militarised response to that crisis.

Ireland has to date only participated in rescue operations in the Mediterranean as part of a bilateral deal with the Italian government.

The Government will decide today (11th July) whether to join the European Union’s Operation Sophia.

The government hopes to put the plan to the Dail on Wednesday morning.

It represents a change in policy for Ireland, after Defence Minister Paul Kehoe told the Dail in December that there was no intention to join the eight-EU-member-state-strong naval operation.

The Irish navy’s work in the Mediterranean has so far been limited to participating in rescue missions, within the mandate of Operation Pontus.

Over the course of two years, Irish forces have saved almost 16,000 migrants, many of whom had tried to make the often-lethal sea voyage in basic inflatable dinghies and unseaworthy craft.

Operation Sophia is currently in phase 2. This involves stopping and searching vessels suspected of being involved in people smuggling. Only eight EU members are participating.

But the eight EU members the Government hopes to join do not intend to stop there.

Sophia makes provision for a Phase 3 which would involve an even more aggressive stance and could include possible action on Libyan soil itself!

Will the Government acknowledge this to the Dail?

As in all these matters an abject policy surrender is motivated by a craven desire to please our EU “betters”. Who will call, “Halt”?


The militarisation of Europe is a far greater threat than Brexit -Prof Ray Kinsella

Irish Independent PUBLISHED11/07/2016 | 02:30

The most searching challenge that the EU faces is not the fallout from Brexit – it’s from the militarisation of Europe and the US-led Nato encirclement of Russia, endorsed by the Nato Summit in Warsaw last weekend.


It is as misconceived as austerity and authoritarianism, which are at the heart of the European crisis. But it is infinitely more dangerous. If the Chilcot Report on the war in Iraq proves anything, it is that the momentum towards armed conflict, once started, becomes difficult to contain.

Militarisation will make it much more difficult to deal with the EU’s migration crisis, itself largely a consequence of the catastrophic effects of Western military intervention. A conflagration between US-led Nato and Russia would increase the numbers of refugees in Europe by an order of magnitude. As for the impact of such a conflagration on the European and global economy – well, all bets are off. We could not begin to model the impact – but we can look at post-war Europe and Iraq and Syria and Libya… Only what are euphemistically termed ‘Defence’ industries do (exceedingly) well out of war.

In April, I suggested in these pages that Europe was in denial. It was mired in an identity crisis largely brought on by itself – a crisis of values, democracy – as well as macroeconomic instability marked by inequality, youth unemployment and long-term indebtedness among peripheral countries. There was no trust in Europe. “The governance of the eurozone is characterised by self-interest, subservience among weaker indebted members and, also, tenacity beyond all reason, in persisting with failed policies.”

In June, prior to the Brexit Referendum, I pointed out that “while it was not the job of UK voters to resolve this mess – Brexit can force these same Euro elite to see reality. The EU is incapable of understanding that the dissenting voices across Europe – which they like to dismiss as ‘populism’ – are not the problem: the real issue is the underlying causes that have precipitated opposition to what the EU has become.”

This perspective was vindicated by the EU’s initial response to Brexit – denial, anger and a blame game.

Then, more positively, the first stirrings of a change in attitude by the EU ‘Top Table’ – notably Dr Wolfgang Schäuble – including a decision not to respond to Brexit by pressing ahead with ‘union’ and not to overly pressurise the UK in implementing Article 50.

Militarism threatens this. The process of rebalancing and reform, including greater democratisation across the EU, is now in jeopardy from the increased militarisation of the EU over the last two years, which is set to increase in the wake of the Warsaw summit. It is an appalling prospect.

Why do ‘leaders’ never see these things coming down the track? Every Leaving Cert student knows ‘The Causes of World War I’ – knowledge didn’t prevent it happening. Why did the ‘leaders’, with the notable example of Churchill, not see what was unfolding in Germany in the short few years from 1935 to 1939?

Why did the US not understand the malign dynamic of the Vietnam War during the 1960s – and its consequences for Asia and the global financial system?

Why did ‘leaders’ not envisage the catastrophic impact of the Iraq invasion?

Now, consider this recent statement by Nato: “Since 2014 Allies have implemented the biggest increase in collective defence since the Cold War… Four robust multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland … a brigade in Romania … further steps to improve cyber-defences, civil-preparedness and to defend against ballistic missile attack … extend Nato’s training mission in Iraq and to broaden (its) role in the Central Mediterranean … deploy Nato’s Awac surveillance aircraft to support the Global Coalition to counter Isil…”

Now read the Nato Communique issued after last weekend. This is in just two years. The scale and scope of this process has largely gone unremarked. So too have the ironies: of more “training” in Iraq, of support for a “Global Coalition to counter Isil” when we know that it was the military invasion of Iraq that largely created Isil, of “defensive missile systems” ostensibly operated by Nato, which as a recent article in the ‘Wall Street Journal’ points out, “are essentially American initiatives” – and can be redeployed in hours as a long-range offensive system.

The purported justification for this new militarisation of Europe is the intervention of Russia in Ukraine, culminating in the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its re-integration into Russia.

What is inferred by Nato from this is that ‘a resurgent Russia’ poses an existential threat to Europe. It doesn’t stand up. It also puts fundamental reform of the EU – and peace – in jeopardy. The sensitivities of Poland and the Baltic states to a military threat from Russia are understandable. But that does not mean the argument driving militarisation is robust. Nor does it mean that their interests, and the interests of peace and stability in Europe, are well served by this militarisation of Europe.

Russia is not the USSR. The rebuilding of its economy and infrastructure, including the modernisation of its defence capability, under President Putin does not remotely equate to a threat to its neighbours.

The military capability of the US dwarfs that of Russia, in terms of assets and the number of bases from which to project those assets. Russia’s defence budget is a fraction of that of the US.

Moreover, the track record, and legacy, of Western military intervention in recent decades demonstrably poses a much greater threat to global peace and stability compared with Russia. But indeed any such comparisons are pitiless and, everywhere, add up to incalculable suffering. The decision by the EU to facilitate accession to the EU by Ukraine and, before that Georgia, was foolish and provocative beyond belief. It was foolish because the expansion of the EU has created a ‘Union’ so unwieldy and overextended in its governance as to pose a threat – now all too evident – to its very existence.

Reflect, for a moment, on a ‘Union’ that also included Ukraine and Georgia. To compound that by facilitating accession to the EU – and, by extension, participation in Nato-led security arrangements – of nations bonded to Russia geographically, historically and in terms of language and culture, went way beyond provocation.

It has kick-started a vicious circle of ratcheting-up ‘defence’ spending. The deployment by Nato of men, heavy equipment and missile systems effectively encircling Russia will inevitably elicit a response.

We have seen this kind of dynamic before – it is taking Europe to a bleak place.

The militarisation of the EU has been rapid, largely invisible and facilitated by self-serving propaganda. Diplomacy provides a better basis for engaging with Russia as a European power, with shared interests at a time of global uncertainty.

Militarisation, now unleashed, threatens Europe.

Economist Ray Kinsella is Professor of Banking and Financial Services, and Healthcare at UCD

Irish Independent.

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